Ada Lovelace: The World's First Computer Programmer

Ada Gordon, the daughter of a famous poet, was a brilliant mathematician and was privately tutored in mathematics and science. Her mother, being a mathematics lover, was extremely strict when it came to Ada’s education and wanted her daughter to be tutored in Mathematics and Science, which she brilliantly excelled in.

She became Ada Lovelace after her marriage to William King who became the Earl of Lovelace in 1838.

Ada Lovelace became known as the world’s first computer programmer after identifying algorithms for the “The Analytical Machine”, a computer machine invented by Charles Babbage. Ada found deep interest in Babbage’s machines after meeting him through her mentor when she was a teenager. Charles Babbage was impressed by her intelligence in mathematics and the two worked together for years on the development of the Analytical Machine.

Ada put her ideas to paper when she was asked to translate a French article of a lecture lectured by Charles Babbage at the University of Turin into English about the Analytical Machine. While translating, Ada added her own ideas on how the Analytical Machine would be able to follow instructions and program Bernoulli numbers. The article also included her observations on the many possible ways the machine can be used in science, the manipulation of symbols and in the creation of music. The final article completed by Ada was 3 times longer than the original article and was published in 1843. All credit was given to Ada Lovelace, to which many were stunned by her brilliance in mathematics and science, a time where only men dominated in this field.

At the young age of 36, Ada Lovelace succumbed to cancer. Today, she is annually remembered on the second Tuesday of October for her contributions to Mathematics and Science. “Ada Lovelace Day” honors all women who contribute to and who are pursuing the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field.

“I am more than ever now the bride of science. Religion to me is science, and science is religion” - Ada Lovelace